How to Repair “Sticky” Eye and Retracted Lashes for American Girl Dolls

How to Repair “Sticky” Eye and Retracted Lashes for American Girl Dolls

Repairing “sticky” eye and and retracted lashes is easy to do with items you most likely have around the house. Sticky eye is when the doll’s eye does not open and shut properly. In the left image above, the doll is sitting up and her eye on the left side is still closed while the eye on the right opens properly. Retracted lashes is when the lashes retract up into the eyelid as shown in the right image above.

What you will need:

Repair sticky eye:

  • Aerosol dust remover spray
  • Sewing needle (if needed)

Repair retracted lashes:

  • Craft glue
  • Toothpick
  • Tape

Repairing “Sticky” Eye

Using the aerosol dust remover spray, hold the eye shut and spray up into and around the eye. It could be something as simple as a piece of debris lodged into the eye socket.

After spraying around my doll’s eye thoroughly several times, her eye was still sticky. Since the spray did not work, I took a sewing needle and very carefully inserted the needle in the little gap around the eye and moved it around until I located a tacky substance. Using the sewing needle, I scratched the area up into the eye until I removed the tackiness. Be very cautious not to scratch the eyelid with the sewing needle as it can scratch the paint off.


After scratching out all the tacky substance, her eye was again able to open and close properly! I purchased this doll secondhand so there is no telling what got in there to cause the eye to stick. If you are unable to find the reason for your doll’s eye sticking after trying the aerosol spray and sewing needle, there may be a more severe issue with the eye itself and it may need replacing or repairing.

The left eye is now repaired and the right eye has the issue with the retracted lashes.


Repairing Retracted Lashes

Retracted lashes happen when the lashes have retracted up into the eyelid. They appear very short and you can grab the end of them, pull them out and they will spring back up into the eyelid when you let go.

Start by pulling the eyelashes out evenly with the other eye and with the doll laying down, tape the eyelashes to the doll’s face to keep them in place. Using the toothpick, dip it into the glue and place the glue along the edge of the lashes and the eyelid.


Allow the glue to dry. I removed the tape after about an hour but left the doll laying down with the eye closed overnight for the glue to dry thoroughly.


Both of the doll’s eyes are now looking and functioning properly.

Doll is American Girl Truly Me 5, sweatshirt by Sew Cute Forever, shorts and shoes by American Girl


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